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A Gamble at Sunset

Vanessa Riley (Zebra)

The Wilcox family cannot afford another scandal—so when rebellious wallflower Georgina Wilcox is caught kissing aspiring composer Lord Mark Sebastian, the couple must pretend to be engaged to preserve their reputations. With a lively take on the fake dating trope, a diverse cast, and an impressive degree of historical detail, Riley’s sparkling Regency series opener should scratch an itch for any Bridgerton fan.


A Novel Love Story

Ashley Poston (Berkley)

For anyone who’s ever wanted to step into the world of a book, bestseller Poston offers pure wish fulfillment. Eileen Merriweather magically stumbles into the small-town setting of her favorite romance series, whose author died before the story was finished. Though she’s warned not to meddle by a handsome and mysterious local bookseller she doesn’t remember from the novels, she can’t resist playing matchmaker. The result is as cute as it is clever.


Someplace Generous: An Inclusive Romance Anthology

Edited by Elaina Ellis and Amber Flame (Generous Press)

Many of the authors of these 21 swoony, seductive shorts—among them Richard Siken and Rachel McKibbens—got their start in poetry, which shows in the consistently vibrant and transportive prose. The stories range in both heat level and subgenre, from funny and fantastical to dark and grounded. With something for any mood, this is an easy pick to throw in one’s beach bag.


Summers at the Saint

Mary Kay Andrews (Griffin)

Traci Eddings finds it hard enough to maintain the idyllic but faded seaside resort left to her by her late husband even before a guest turns up murdered in one of the rooms. As she teams up with the hotel’s gardener, a former P.I., to investigate, unexpected sparks fly. Andrews perfectly balances the second chance-romance with the twisty mystery against a beachy backdrop that will please any armchair traveler.


You Should Be So Lucky

Cat Sebastian (Avon)

Sebastian pairs a closeted baseball player with the openly gay reporter assigned to cover his rookie season in this heart-flutteringly sweet 1960-set romance. The men’s relationship burns slow, but their chemistry leaps off the page, making it easy to invest in their tender will-they-won’t-they. Rounded out by exciting ball games and nostalgic set-dressing, this is a home run.


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